11 October 2016

The Dark Veil

I don't know how it starts or even what causes it, but when that Dark Veil starts coming down, it is near impossible to stop it. Depression is different for everyone and for me it begins with an actual physical feeling of that heavy veil weighing down my eyes. It is a physical manifestation of the darkness that is coming. Unable to force it to stop, I can only try to anticipate it's duration and the consequences everyday activities will impose on my mind. Everything becomes open to the black hole that is the depression and I don't know how to lift it.
The light seem dim, eating loses its appeal and every conversation is littered with triggers that set me off. I almost feel like I step outside myself at this time and watch my downward spiral through a tinted lens. I know what is happening but am powerless to halt its progress. Leaden steps, heavy limbs and a feeling of dread fill every morning, afternoon and night. I have developed a very good act to use during these times and the smile on my face disappears as soon as you turn away. My laughter echoes in the emptiness of what used to bring me joy and even trying to carry a conversation takes more than I can bear. I can understand those people for whom their depression leaves them unable to even leave the house, I have to convince myself every day to get out of bed when I am covered by the Veil. Fear is a powerful motivator and when you have come close to losing everything, you can make yourself go to work, even when you can barely stand to brush your teeth in the morning. I am always worried there will come a day when I can't even talk myself into going in and that is not a day I am sure I can handle.
The only truth I know is that it will come back, again and again. My only weapon is my mind and when that is compromised by the Veil, I feel lost. A natural joy and its corresponding dread is the routine of life and when you feel alone, unwanted and unworthy, it is hard to see the light of a better tomorrow.
But still I prevail.
I remind myself that waking up each day is a victory. Each step on the walk to work, a triumph and the completion of a shift, success.
I have learned that the smallest of joys can begin to push the dark cloud away, but I am also aware that the tiniest miscue can clamp it down again. The balance is delicate and despite my thinking I know exactly what is happening, it still persists. Lasting sometimes only days but most often weeks at a time, I have little control over its duration.
Men are supposed to be tough, strong and silent. I have become so good at masking the desperate nature of my emotions and it is rare that anyone knows of the dark presence in my days. I either don't know or can't bring myself to ask for help and it is frustrating. I am constantly advocating for my friends and family who suffer from mental health issues to get help, but when it comes to my own problems, I am like a wounded animal. I do what I must to survive and retreat to the relative safety of my home as soon as I can.
And that is how I survive. One day at a time until I start to feel the Veil lift. Slowly and in stops and starts until one day I wake up and my smile is real, my step light and the day holding only promise. I try to keep that feeling as long as I can and try to remember it for the next time it begins to weigh down on my life.


  1. One day at a time is all you can do. Thanks for posting this. It must've been hard.

  2. Thank you Crystal, it sat on my computer for a while and I'm still not sure of I love it, but I had to say it now